How to Have a Dream Pregnancy and Birth
When I was pregnant with my fourth baby I flew to Sydney to record an EP at Fox Studios with a producer who had worked for Sony. I also launched the EP with a concert on a glass boat called the Crystal Swan, a month before I gave birth. People ask, ‘how were you able to do all that?’ I feel it’s because I mastered how to be really healthy and in control when pregnant; physically, mentally and emotionally.
I was really unhealthy during my first pregnancy at 18! It’s obviously normal to put on weight when you’re pregnant, the average being around 12kg. But I only weighed about 50kg before pregnancy and then put on 20kg so I practically doubled in size. This made movement of any kind very difficult! I was using my pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted and in huge quantities. You only need the equivalent to an extra bowl of cereal per day! During my first labour I was yelling at the midwives in hospital to kill me and stab me and kill the baby and get it out of me- I was totally nuts! I was determined to have a better pregnancy and labour next time around!
With my second baby I read ‘The Gentle Birth Method’ by Gowri Motha, Elle MacPherson’s doctor. This book told me that you could be pregnant and be full of energy if you ate healthily and exercised. So I only put on 12kg and felt better. I also read about how you can have a calmer birth if you give birth in water and use self-hypnosis. I had a home water birth and was doing well during my second labour until my hubby said, ‘Now when it’s time to push I don’t want you to yell, just push.’ I turned wild and yelled, ‘you’re a @#$% man! What the @#$% would you know? You’re a @#$% ….” And madly shouted profanities at him for the rest of the labour, which he found hilarious!
So with my third pregnancy I knew how to be physically healthy, but I wanted to master the labour part. I read a book called ‘Hypnobirthing’ by Marie Mongan, did the course and listened to the CD several times a day. Basically you teach yourself to relax in an instant and when you’re in labour you recall that skill and are able to relax during labour. The mind controls the body. It sounded unbelievable but I watched videos of other women doing it and they looked like they were asleep during labour! I lived and breathed the Hypnobirthing teaching religiously. I had my third baby at home in water and it was amazingly blissful; I was calm and in control! I looked like I was asleep while I was in full on labour!
No one believed me when I said I had a dream birth with my third. So I filmed my fourth baby's birth at home as evidence! We put a tripod on the top of our piano and stayed in the birthing pool the whole time. I looked as peaceful as one of those women in the Hypnobirthing videos! We woke the kids up straight after baby was born and it was magical to see them in awe and showing so much love for this tiny human on video! Then I had some pregnant girlfriends over for a movie night and we watched my birth video together ha! Not your typical girly movie night, but they found it inspiring and encouraging!
Unfortunately things don’t always go to plan during a birth. But we should never go around scaring pregnant women with horror stories! If you’re pregnant, avoid people who enjoy telling negative pregnancy and birth stories like the plague! Listening to horror stories only strikes unnecessary fear in to you. Use the nine months of pregnancy to prepare your mind and body for the birth. Birth is like a marathon that you train hard for. The more you put in, the better your birth will be. I have conquered my fear of birth and am able to pass this confidence on to my daughters! After all, it’s what I was made to do! So that is how I was able to do all my music stuff on the side! I also want to give a shout out to an angel, Vanessa Butera from Simply Midwifery, my midwife with my last three children- thank you Vanessa! Do you have any pregnancy/birth tips?